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Murcia's fruit and vegetable traders promoting exports to Russia

From Monday 16 to Thursday 19 September, fruit and vegetable producers and exporters from the Region of Murcia, Spain, members of PROEXPORT, are present at the fair World Food Moscow 2013 with the goal of increasing their export volumes to Russia, a market with 140 million consumers. It is a trade mission, included in the Foreign Promotion Plan from the Chambers of Commerce and the Institute for the Promotion of the Murcian Region (INFO), in which companies aim to sign commercial deals with Russian importers, wholesalers and distributors, as well as from neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic Republics or Kazakhstan.

The associates of PROEXPORT taking part in the fair are Campo de Lorca, Difrusa Export, Pascual Marketing, Grupo Hortiberia, Kettle Produce España, Verdimed, Agrícola Santa Eulalia and Pozosur.

According to Proexport director, Fernando P. Gómez, "in a country as large as Russia we trust to arrive to a greater number of customers and progressively increase our horticultural export volumes. More than 30 Russian cities surpass the million inhabitants and the country's retail space has grown by 18% over the past year with the opening of 4,059 shops, which is more than enough reason for our companies to become more and more interested in this market."

Nationwide Russian supermarket and hypermarket chains, such as Magnit, X5 Group, Auchan or Dixy are planning aggressive expansion plans, which is perceived by Proexport as an opportunity for Murcian producers to become larger suppliers.

In 2012, Spanish fruit and vegetable exports to Russia reached 255,255 tonnes, turning it into the largest non-EU destination for the sector, according to data provided by the Department of Customs and Special Taxes of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. 

The Region of Murcia exported 17,593 tonnes of fruit and vegetables to Russia; 6.7% of the total exported by Spain to this country. At national level, the main exporters were the Region of Valencia (140,751 tonnes) and Catalonia (81,395 tonnes). Most of the exports correspond to citrus and stone fruit; nevertheless, according to the director of PROEXPORT, Murcia's firms also aim for a strong growth in vegetable exports, especially lettuce and tomato, which already doubled their shipments last year.

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